|The purpose of these pages is to provide information concerning the Interactive Mathematics Program (IMP) at Del Norte High School. Currently, we are in our sixth year of offering this innovative college prepatory mathematics program. IMP reflects the Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics, from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) and was funded by the National Science Foundation.|
How is IMP Different?
IMP is student-centered. .. Teachers guide students in activities where the students can develop mathematical concepts based on their previous knowledge and their discoveries during the activity with their group and/or class. While students present their ideas, solutions, and misconceptions to the group or class, the teacher poses questions to help students clarify their thinking, to elicit other solutions or approaches, to extend this problem to other situations, to reflect back on previously studied problems, or to determine whether a solution is appropriate in the given context.
IMP is problem-centered. .. Typically, a unit will begin with a central question or theme. Then, students explore relevant mathematical concepts in order to solve the unit problem. In this way, students understand how the mathematics is connected to a real problem situation and can apply this understanding to similar problems.
IMP is integrated. .. The mathematics topics in a unit (or year) are not from a single branch of mathematics. Students may simultaneously work with algebra, geometry, trigonometry, number theory, probability and statistics, and other math disciplines in order to solve a unit problem. As a result, students do not consider these topics as separate and distinct "branches," but as tightly interwoven "vines." In addition, IMP uses other subject areas--history, literature, and science--to provide meaningful settings for the students to investigate the mathematical content.
IMP offers long-term open-ended investigations. .. Each unit contains several Problems of the Week (POWs). These problems are mathematically rich and require critical thinking and problem solving skills. At the same time, these problems can be solved using multiple approaches allowing students to experience the same problem in several ways.
IMP involves extensive written and oral communication. .. Students synthesize their ideas about math concepts, strategies for solving problems, and even their own learning. In an IMP class, solving the problem is only one facet. Students must also support their solution with convincing arguments and they must be able to communicate their ideas effectively. Also, students must analyze the arguments of others to determine if a different approach results in a suitable solution even though it differs from their own.
IMP utilizes the graphing calculator. .. From almost the first day, students become familiar with the capabilities of the graphing calculator. Students use this powerful tool to investigate and explore areas of math that are often too cumbersome with paper and pencil. Furthermore, students develop an understanding for the limitations of the graphing calculator and learn to value their own critical thinking skills as a result.
IMP students work independently and in groups. .. As in the current work place, students must be able to perform on their own as well as a member of a group. Groups are randomly chosen about every 2-3 weeks to allow students to work within a variety of groups during the year. Students learn good group characteristics, how to work collaboratively with others, and strategies for engaging all group members to participate.